The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

To Arm or Not to Arm, That May be the Question

Before I start in on a rant about the 2nd Amendment and the attempts by the Senate to do what it proscribes, I would like to bring up that toxic subject: abortion.

When the Roe v. Wade decision was made, it was lauded as the end of "back alley abortions", that women would no longer need to risk their own lives to terminate a pregnancy. To hear the Left tell it, women were dying left and right at the hands of unlicensed abortionists. I would like them to read this:

The Trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnells

If you choose to read it, be aware that it is pretty graphic and very disturbing.

But let's go back to something more pleasant... gun violence.

Nobody is in favor of people randomly shooting other people. I think we can agree with that. I believe even the hated NRA is not in favor of gun violence, though you wouldn't know that from reading the general media. Reading the opinion pieces, the editorials, and even the news stories, one might come away thinking the NRA wants mass murder. Rational people will dismiss such as hyperbole and distortion. Still, there are many who believe the NRA is merely a shill for gun makers and a too strong lobby.

I don't.  Growing up, I was taught that guns weren't needed by the average person.  My father didn't own one, my mother didn't own one, and I was not allowed to have a BB gun (cap pistols were permitted, however). I got a BB gun anyway; more than one, as I recall. And I and my friends risked the proverbial losing of an eye by engaging in BB gun fights. None of us lost an eye. In fact, the worst that happened to any of us was a welt when we were hit on a bare arm.

Dianne Feinstein (D, California) jumped on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary to introduce a reprise of the old "Assault Weapon" ban. Many of my friends (and possibly yours) will explain that assault weapons are already banned. And they are. What Feinstein wanted to do was ban assault weapon looking rifles. Some of which are less powerful than hunting rifles which would not be banned. Majority Leader Harry Reid shot down (excuse the pun) her bill because he knew it wouldn't pass... he just couldn't guarantee the votes. At the same time, we are being told that "everyone" is in favor of such a ban. This, I think, is why the NRA is being trashed of late.

What Reid's strategy is, I think, is to get something limiting magazine capacity and expanding background checks. And then allow Feinstein's ban to be added as an  admendment. He is also warning, admonishing, Republicans not to filibuster amendments. I suspect he thinks he can get Feinstein's ban in through the back door, so to speak.

But let's look at something absolutely true:

No proposed federal legislation (and no proposed or passed) state laws would do anything to prevent what happened at Sandy Hook. Even proponents of the proposals and laws acknowledge this.

It's very simple. If someone wants to commit such mayhem, they will get weapons illegally. In other words, they will readily break the huge numbers of gun control laws already on the books. Adding more laws will simply add laws that will be broken.

Criminals and the insane will ignore any law that gets in their way and find ways around any law which prevents them from getting what they want.

Will reducing the privacy of those with mental illnesses help? Maybe. But who increased that privacy? Why, it is the very same people who now want it reduced today in the name of gun control.

Society is a complex organism. A free society is even more complex; a delicate balance between individual liberty and collective safety. We are rapidly approaching a tipping point.


Tom Sightings said...

Douglas, I agree with you on a lot of things. But here's the flaw in your gun argument. You say, essentially, that there's no point in making more gun laws because criminals will just break those laws and shoot people anyway.

Yes, to some extent that's true. But the laws will discourage SOME people from getting guns illegally and shooting people. Laws would not eliminate gun violence, but they would reduce it.

After all, why do we make any laws at all? Some people will break them. Some people steal; but we still make laws against theft. Some people murder; but we still have laws against killing.

We lock our doors at night, even though some criminals will find ways around the locks to get what they want anyway. Because although locks will not make you totally secure, they will make you more secure.

Also, besides the practicality, our laws make a statement about who we are. We say as a society, we don't allow people to take other people's lives, or other people's property. And I for one (and according to polls, most Americans) want to live in a civilized society, not in a wild west society where criminals are free to roam and people are told to take the law into their own hands.

Don't say I want to take away people's 2nd amendment rights. I say regulate guns like we regulate automobiles, another dangerous but useful tool. There is certainly no shortage of automobiles -- but people are held responsible if and when they do damage, b/c they are registered, they are trained; they have a license; we know who they are, they have insurance, etc.

Douglas ... how could you possibly disagree with me?!?

Douglas said...

Tom, I would never accuse you of trying to violate the 2nd Amendment. Since, essentially, you have no power to do so. I understand the regulate and insure concept. And, on its face, it seems reasonable. However, you have no constitutionally guaranteed right to own and/or drive a car (or any other vehicle) so the comparison fails. As to not making new laws because someone will always disobey them, that wasn't my point. My point was that the new laws are not needed because there are existing laws which apply. You make new laws to block gaps in the old ones. As I stated, none of the proposed and enacted laws would have done anything to prevent a massacre like Sandy Hook. We had an "assault weapons" ban from 1994 to 2004, it accomplished nothing except to increase profits to gun dealers by driving up the price of these weapons.
for analysis of that ban on crime and massacres.
We need to find real solutions, not "feel good" ones.